Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales little history: I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie in theatres three times, and Captain Jack Sparrow became one of my all-time favorite characters.  The only midnight showing I’ve ever been to was Pirates 2: Dead Man’s Chest. Life has changed a little in the last fourteen (!) years since Captain Jack first sailed in, but I was still pretty excited to see Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales this past weekend.  You never can tell by the time you get to installment five of a series, but I intended to take it for what it was, and it was a fun time!

The movie circles back to plot threads left by Pirates 3: At World’s End, picking up with Henry Turner, the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann.  Henry is determined to rescue his father from Davy Jones’ curse, and thinks the answer is to find Poseidon’s Trident.  He intersects with a series of characters after the same goal: Carina Smith, an astronomer and scientist branded as a witch; Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) who wants it to rule the sea; and of course, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his ragtag crew, who need the Trident to fend off Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his crew of the dead.

There’s a lot going on in here, and things move fast with few pauses between new crises, upheavals or full-scale battles.  There are still ample funny moment, though they do tend to have some degree of franticness to them.

Jack Sparrow is still a lot of fun and I expect always will be; I especially enjoyed a (fairly brief) flashback to how he first became a pirate captain.  It better showcased that weird and engaging mystery of never quite knowing how in control Jack is.  Present-day Jack seems to have lost his grip on things a bit, though never on his ability to ride through an insane situation and come out standing. Continue reading “Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

Blog Hop: Bookmarks

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: Do you use bookmarks? If so, do you match them to the book you’re reading or do you use random scraps of paper?

I have a bookmark collection, and have been mostly using the same ones for ten years or so.  They’re all home-made, and I remade some just a  few months ago because they were getting rather tattered around the corners.

My bookmark collection, essentially, reflects some of my very favorite characters…

Bookmarks (1)Mostly, it’s the characters I wrote stories about in my fanfiction days–and so they continue to live in my head (and the books I read) in a way that other much beloved characters do not.  The exception to that rule is the Doctor Who bookmark, which I created new when I was refurbishing the others.  That’s also my only two-sided bookmark…

Bookmarks (3)When I’m thinking about it, I like to match characters to the book I’m reading (a couple of recent reads involving Rome were definite Kirk books, for instance, while Peter Pan usually lands in the kids books).  But I don’t always think about it, and end up using the same one for weeks!

Do you have favorite bookmarks you like to use?  Any particular habits around them?

Saturday Snapshot: Knick-Knacks

I like everything I own to have a story.  That doesn’t extend to, say, my shampoo or silverware, but it does include my knick-knacks.

Shelf - Barrie Fairies

I saw these adorable fairies for sale in Covent Gardens.  Having just spent a week wandering around Kensington Gardens with fairies on my mind, I couldn’t resist.  Naturally I keep them in front of my J. M. Barrie collection.

Shelf - Fandom

Here you see the result of some of my fandoms…my shelf of Star Trek books also houses Trevor the Tribble, Kirk and Spock salt-and-pepper shakers, and a Data action figure that I bought at my first ever job, at KayBee Toys (for the record, I don’t recommend working in a toy store for the Christmas season).

On the next shelf, my Phantom collection, with a model of the Paris Opera House, and then my Pirate collection.  I bought the “solemn” Captain Jack action figure because the grinning one was terrifying (really), and I managed to get a Captain Jack Happy Meal toy without actually buying any food at McDonalds.

Shelf - Lucky Cat

A less obvious connection here…but I have a Lucky Cat figurine that I bought in Chinatown in San Francisco, and it’s on this shelf because Keladry, heroine of the Protector of the Small quartet, has a collection of Lucky Cat figures.

Those are my cleverest book-and-knick-knack combinations…but perhaps I’ll share other knick-knacks another day! 🙂  Do you have any with fun stories?

Visit At Home with Books for more Saturday Snapshots!

A Masked Man Walked Into a Bar…

Several weeks ago, the Blog Hop topic centered on characters from different origins meeting each other.  A fascinating subject–and one I’ve played with before, as I once wrote a few friends short stories for their birthdays, centered around the idea of a group of their favorite characters hanging out in a tavern together.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share the opening of one of those stories, “Masked Men and Zombies.”  I’m not sure if it will make sense to anyone but my friends, but if people are amused, perhaps I’ll share more another day.  🙂

I don’t own any of the characters in the story (except the squirrel), no copyright infringement intended, etc., etc.  And by the way, this will make a lot more sense if you’ve seen this video from Eddie Izzard.


The date was March 24th.  The year was absolutely impossible to determine based on the people present.  But it was definitely March 24th, in a tavern whose location is also somewhat vague.  From whatever street it fronted on, in a city unknown, a man was entering.  He was tall, dressed all in black, and had a vaguely menacing air.  Considering this tavern, and considering the inspiration behind its population, from this description there were at least four distinct individuals this could have been.  The fact that he was wearing a mask did not narrow things down.

The unidentified masked man (hereafter UMM, until we latch onto a name) strode into the tavern and crossed through the crowded room to the bar.  To all appearances, there was no one at said-bar.  Said-UMM slammed one black-gloved fist on the countertop and demanded, “Bartender!”

A slightly drunken pirate popped up from behind the bar.  “You rang?” Continue reading “A Masked Man Walked Into a Bar…”

Saturday Snapshot: Bumper Stickers

My current car is the first one I haven’t shared (well, borrowed from parents, really), so when it became mine I decided to personalize!  Then I spent a few months not able to commit to any bumper stickers I saw in shops.  Is any random joke really that clever to stick on my car for years?  Finally I went online, and here’s what I ended up with…

When I bought “I’d rather be sailing the high seas with Captain Jack,” I of course meant Captain Jack Sparrow–and mostly I do still mean him, because he’s one of my favorite characters ever.  But if Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who invited me on a voyage, I’d go with him too!

As to being haunted by the Phantom of the Opera…that seems to say it so well.  He’s lived in my head for years.

The “Perform Random Acts of Shakespeare” one has prompted people to ask me if I’m in theatre.  I’m not–but I like Shakespeare.  And I quote him frequently.

The Starfleet emblem should be pretty self-explanatory.  And as to “Coexist” I do believe in coexisting, on a lot of levels; I wanted something different than the blue sticker everyone else has.  And space–it’s pretty amazing.

I felt like I could commit to all of these, because the most recent interest represented here is the Phantom–and that’s going on eight years.  So I’m pretty sure I’m not going to wind up turning away from any of these and regretting the sticker!

Anyone else have a cool bumper sticker?  Or do you remember seeing a fun one?

Check out At Home with Books for more Saturday Snapshots!

Saturday Snapshot: Johnny Depp

I wish I could give you an actual snapshot of Johnny Depp…but I’ve never met him.  Still, seeing as it’s his birthday today, I thought I’d make him the theme of my Saturday Snapshot.  So I’m giving you a glimpse into my fandom.  🙂

This is my Pirates bookshelf, with all four movies, some books on historical pirates, and a couple biographies.  They’re all presided over by a Captain Jack Sparrow action figure, and a doll McDonald’s put out for the second movie–and I managed to buy the doll without actually buying any food from them.  It turns out they will sell the toys separately.

This is my most expensive item.  Somewhere I have a paper certifying that it’s an authentic signature.  I blame my friend for this purchase–we were in the store, she decided to buy an autograph first, and then of course I succumbed to temptation!

I’m not exclusively a Captain Jack fan.  Here’s my Johnny Depp movie collection.  Other favorite characters include Roux in Chocolat, J. M. Barrie in Finding Neverland, and while I don’t exactly love Sweeney Todd, I find his movie to be a remarkably cathartic experience.

I must say, this all looks fairly reasonable.  But then…I didn’t show you the two boxes of magazine clippings and movie reviews!  🙂

I know the rest of you must have favorite actors too.  Tell me about your fandoms!  And check out At Home with Books for more Saturday Snapshots.

Movie Night in the Cornfield

When I originally wrote my Pirates of the Caribbean novel (or two-hundred-page extended-joke, as I like to think of it), the second movie hadn’t even come out yet.  The characters ended up with very different lives compared to the later movies.  At the end of my story, Captain Jack Sparrow is still sailing the Black Pearl, Will and Elizabeth are married and living in Port Royal, and Commodore Norrington is still chasing Jack and his crew.

I’ve developed a tradition of going back and writing an extra chapter when each movie comes out.  I’m not trying to fit my story to the later developments–but I really enjoy having the characters, as I left them, watch the movie and comment on how things are going.  It’s that kind of story where you can do that sort of thing.

Since the fourth movie just came out a few weeks ago, I went back to the cornfield to write a new chapter in response.  If you haven’t seen Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, this is your warning that this has spoilers!  And probably won’t make any sense at all anyway.

But if you’ve seen the movie, I hope you’ll enjoy the POTC characters commenting on POTC.


It was movie night in the cornfield.  Movie nights were rare—although, considering this was a time hundreds of years before movies were invented, they were less rare than you might expect.  Every few years, the characters of the cornfield would gather to see what the latest developments were in their canon lives.  Tonight—On Stranger Tides.

“A brilliant piece of cinema,” Jack pronounced, after the movie—but not his Super-Extra-Large-Jumbo-Really-Big-size bucket of popcorn—had been finished.

Continue reading “Movie Night in the Cornfield”